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Advanced test facilities at Danfoss Solar Inverters

25 November 2010
State-of-the-art inverter testing backed by over 40 years of experience

Danfoss has been developing power electronics for over 40 years and today offers some of the most extensive inverter testing facilities available to the industry, giving direct access to the very highest levels of experience and expertise.
Comprehensive testing facilities under one roof

The range of facilities we have on offer is almost unique, both in variety and technology. For example, we can test and model both PV modules and the grid itself, simulating any possible combination of expected or unexpected occurrences.
The internal test facilities play an essential part in the achievement of high efficiency, our three phased continuous output and in ensuring we stay on grid for a long as possible during disturbances.

Short circuit lab – the power to test under real conditions
 
Our specialist short circuit lab allows us to test how inverters behave individually and in groups, with DC power supplies on one side and a transformer station on the other. Using this set-up, it is possible to test short circuits on individual phases, to establish how the inverter handles them, and to apply voltage sags of varying time intervals and duration.

It is also possible to test whether the inverter performs correctly during conditions when reactive power is required by the utility companies, supplying the correct power level at the right time. You can moreover test to ensure that the inverter performs ride-through when required, staying connected during grid disturbances, as determined by the utility companies.

In the lab, we additionally test for the inverters’ ability to overcome dips, low voltage notches and sags. Bursts, surges and other grid quality-affecting occurrences are also simulated to ensure correct behaviour. Inverter performance during disturbances is particularly important in maintaining good grid quality and ensuring high yield. We test to the 61400-21 power-quality standard. Our DC power source supplies up to a full-capacity 15kW, and the transformer replicates real 3x400V conditions.

AC grid simulation – achieving enhanced stability

Our AC grid simulation unit (Spitzenberger + Spies) can model all possible AC conditions that might be experienced by an inverter. For example, it can determine exactly at what point in the sine cycle the disturbance should occur. It can also model different grid impedances to simulate different connection points, close to or far away from the transformer station. This makes it possible to check whether the inverter disconnects or stays connected at the appropriate times: particularly useful for remote inverter installations, typified by greater instability and higher impedance.

PV simulator – maximising PV effectiveness

Our PV simulator is the secret behind our ability to achieve industry-leading MPP tracker performance. The key is the simulator’s ability to accurately model sunrise and sunset situations as well as clouds, shading and other variables - notoriously difficult tasks. By accurately simulating the behaviour and output of a PV module over an entire day at an accelerated rate, we can quickly and efficiently test and refine MPP trackers. The result is 99.9% tracker precision in static conditions and 99.6% in dynamic conditions (clouds).

Ambient environment testing

Working with our specialists within the Danfoss Group, we can also carry out comprehensive environmental testing, with specialists and equipment including:

• Heating cabinets
• Cooling cabinets
• Water intrusion tests
• Dust intrusion tests
• Component stress tests